Sarah and I hiked the 4.5-mile Lake Trail in Yellowwood State Forest today. Fortunately we didn’t see any logging going on in Yellowwood. I brought my Nikon D50 on this hike instead of the point & shoot camera I’ve been bringing, and I think it made a world of difference.
We had never hiked this trail before, and I was really looking forward to it, since it goes around Yellowwood Lake, one of my favorite lakes in the area. It starts out following the Jackson Creek Trail, which we had hiked before, but soon splits off. And follows the west side of the lake fairly closely. It has numerous ups and downs as it goes winding in the nooks and crannies of the shoreline, then going uphill, further inland, and back down to the lake again. It’s a great time of year to hike this trail because with the leaves off the trees, you have a great view of the lake this whole time.
We approached the end of the lake and hiked across the dam. We had picnicked here before when we hiked the High King Hill and Scarce o’Fat trails before.
We then had to cross the creek by the spillway, which was probably the most challenging part of the hike. It didn’t help that the trail, which had been well-marked to this point, was incorrectly marked here so we ended up trying to cross the creek in the wrong place. There was also a steep slope up to a sketchy stairway, and Sarah slipped on the wooden slat forming the stair, smashing her leg on a piece of rebar.
The hike on the east side of the lake is much more difficult, and it goes pretty far from the lake, so the scenery isn’t as good. The trail twists and turns, seemingly going uphill at every possible turn. It also joined up with a horse trail for a while, which was OK, but not ideal. It was still fun and the woods are beautiful in their own right, but the first half of the trail was much more to our liking.
The trail joined up with an interpretive trail for a bit and some trees were labeled, which would be educational if I could ever remember anything like that.
We noticed that for a while there were two blazes on the trees, but one of them was crossed out with red paint. It appeared someone made a mistake and put blazes for the interpretive trail on the wrong trail. This made me think of Doug and his painting blue blazes along the Superior Hiking Trail. Reading about his efforts there really make me appreciate those who paint blazes on our trails. But whoever made this mistake must have been pretty mad at themselves, both for making things more confusing to hikers and for having to go back, paint over the incorrect blazes, and paint the blazes on the right trail.
All in all, it was a great hike. We discussed possibly doing this trail in the opposite direction next time to finish with our favorite section and lots of great lake views.